Since writing about having an abundance mindset a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been trying to see the positive in everything – to see the opportunity in everything I do.
Last week I found myself frustrated by the prospect of a parents evening. I have three year 7 classes – over 60 students in total. I thought about the four hours of rushed appointments, repetitive conversations, banal questions… Then I stopped myself and asked:
“Why am I being negative about this? Parents’ evenings are great – and here’s why…”
Meeting students’ parents helps you understand them
It’s great to see how students react and interact with their parents. I always find it fascinating how much you can pick up in a few minutes of conversation.
There’s an opportunity to praise great work and attitude
That look of pride when you talk about the successes of their child – that’s great. I always find something positive to say – even about those who are a challenge to teach, there’s always something to praise.
Students’ negative behaviour can be confronted head-on
Parents’ evenings provide the perfect situation to have that crucial conversation. Outside of the social pressures of the classroom or the mania of a school day. It also reasserts the point to the student that their negative actions will have repercussions outside of the classroom.
You DON’T need to talk about data and results
During my first couple of years in teaching, I used to take a printed spreadsheet with me and talk about assessments and results. I don’t anymore. Parents can see that on the reports, I now focus on how their child is learning, their strengths and how we can develop their weaknesses.
Are students enjoying the lessons?
I always want my lessons to be enjoyable – I work very hard for this. Getting feedback from the students about what they’re liking and what they’re not is so useful.
Sometimes you have those comments that make it all worth it.
“He didn’t enjoy the subject before you were his teacher,” hearing these sorts of comments make teaching the wonderful job it is.
With these things in mind, I had a great evening. It was lovely to meet the parents, all 45 of those who came over 4 hours. It was intense, but great.
How can you see the positive in that upcoming challenge?
You don’t always choose the challenge, but you do choose how you view it.